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St Colman of Stockerau
(entered heaven this day in 1012)
To be honest, even though they pain you, I can’t say I regret the difficulties you are currently facing. The way you react to mockery and adversity is a great thermometer of your love for Christ. You remember how he reacted, don’t you? With humility, with meekness, staying focused on his mission and not getting dragged into mudslinging. The saints, in fact, have considered it an honor to suffer for the name of Christ, because in that way they can pay him back a bit for his having suffered for them. Today’s saint is a curious example.
He was an Irish nobleman who took a penitential pilgrimage to the Holy Land – common practice in those days. He traveled through the valley of the Danube. In those years, the Austrians, the Moravians and Bohemians were tangled up in all kinds of unpleasant exchanges – they simply couldn’t get along. When Colman showed up in Austria, coming from the direction of Moravia and not speaking German, the locals concluded that he must be a spy. He was arrested and “tried”, and remained tranquil and docile through the whole process, until he was hanged on a scaffolding in town between two thieves. The custom at the time was to leave the bodies of hanged criminals to the mercy of decay and wild animals, to deter others from imitating their crimes. But a strange thing happened with Colman. His body didn’t decay. The animals left it alone, and it hung there, incorrupt, for eighteen months. Some witnesses even say the scaffolding began to sink roots into the soil and grow branches and leaves. Thus the holiness behind his meekness was shown to be true holiness, the kind that gives and spreads the “abundant life” that Christ came to bring us.
I do hope you won’t have to undergo such tortures to prove your love, but the smaller sufferings our Lord is asking of you can produce the same miraculous results for yourself and those around you, if you live them with deep faith. Our Lord wasn’t kidding when he told us, “Blessed are you when they persecute you for my sake… great will your reward be in heaven…”
So, hang in there… so to speak.
Your devoted uncle, Eddy